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Gordon Oliver in the city hall where he worked as Mayor of Cape Town and welcomed Nelson Mandela on his release
You seldom hear someone described as ‘humble’. Although his life has been a string of achievements, that is the first word I would use of Gordon. He fought apartheid in Cape Town for decades, helping to lead marches of thousands. He was the mayor of the city when Nelson Mandela was released, and arranged for him to speak to a crowd of 100,000 from the city hall that evening. Gordon organized the first modern Parliament of World Religions outside of the USA. And in his 60s he trained to become a Unitarian Minister and was appointed chairman of the international Unitarian board.
Gordon is our Great Guide to Unitariansm (Universalism), which is a religion focused not so much on doctrine and set teachings, but the individual's search for their own spiritual journey. By using multiple texts and teachings rooted in cultures from all over the world, Unitarian /Universalists are free to read and learn from all traditions, and to attend other churches on their journey of faith. Gordon Oliver served as a minister for a Cape Town Unitarian Church for eight years, organized the Congress of Churches, and continues to work for the Church. I will always be inspired by Gordon’s gentleness, honesty and his courageous commitment to principle which has shone in both his political and religious work.
Author: Roddy Bray
Published Date: 23 Dec 2009
Location: Southern Africa | South Africa
Themes: living life | belief and spirituality